Budding musicians gathered at The Black Dog pub in Westage on Sunday night to show off their talents in front of talent scouts from ITV’s The Voice UK.
Nearly 40 acts, ranging from solo singers and duets to guitarists, took to the stage to belt out their favourite tracks, in the hope of catching the eyes of the two ITV scouts.
Local musician Tarn Oxley helped to organise the event alongside Trevor Bunn, who runs the Grantham Live Music Scene website and Black Dog manager Chris Knowles.
He said: “ITV first contacted Trevor about six weeks ago. Since then, we’ve been advertising through word of mouth, social media and posters in and around town. We wanted to give as many people as we could the opportunity to sing. We set up a table for Sarah and the cameraman near the stage, so they could get the best view.
“It wasn’t so much of an audition but a chance for people to show off what they could do.”
The artists were certainly not short of support.
Tarn added: “Over 300 people turned up to cheer them on, including lots of friends and family. The pub was packed with some people not able to get in.
“The ITV crew said that they’ve never seen anything like it, as they normally only get about 10 acts turn up. It did get alittle noisy at times, but it was a great atmopshere and everyone, both the acts and audience, seemed to be enjoying themselves.”
Annie Gascoyne, 17, of Cornwall Close, was one of the first to perform, choosing to sing ‘Iris’ by the Goo Goo Dolls. She said: “I’ve always loved singing and used to sing in a group at the Jubilee church on London Road, but this was different.”
She wrote about the experience in her blog, annies alternative.wordpress.com, afterwords, adding: “The event helped people to realise the amount of talent that there is in Grantham, that might not have been noticed if events like these did not happen.”
Kerry Davies, 27, of Thorneydene Gardens, is well known on the local music scene after performing at gigs across Lincolnshire with her band Modern Vintage, before they disbanded two years ago. She sang Bob Dylan’s ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ and ‘Price Tag,’ by Jessie J, with her former bandmate George Mole. She said: “I wanted to perform two completely different songs that I felt confident with, but wanted to try and pick songs that everyone would have known as they catered for all ages.”
Dale Weatherstone, 25, of John Foster Close, is hoping that it will help him break into the music scene. He sang ‘How to save a life’ by The Fray. He said: “I love singing and I’ve tried for years to be noticed and get a break with no success. Singing is my passion. I drive my partner crazy by singing all the time.”
The judges had a video recorder trained on the stage in a bid to capture any star quality. Artists now have a tense wait to see if they will be invited for an audition.
For more information on how to apply, visit: www.itv.com/thevoice/apply